Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Save Money And The Earth By Keeping Cool Without Air Conditioning

There are lots of things you can do to keep cool during hot weather without using air conditioning. If you live in a very hot climate and are used to air conditioning, you may have to reduce your use of air conditioning gradually. I quit suddenly, with at least once a month  using air conditioning. 

This is because I rented a place that had an air conditioner along with it. If you don't run an air conditioner at least once a month, without special preparations, the seals can go bad and even ruin the air conditioner.

The thing that makes the most difference in coolness is a combination of plants grown in front of the window, a mister on the plants at night, and a double fan with one set to exhaust warm air on top and the bottom fan to intake cool air. I kept the window shut during the day time. I closed the window right before it became hot outside.

This combination was enough to lower the temperature inside my home enough to make it chilly and necessary to use warm blankets and warm clothes at night. Getting it this cool at night made the coolness inside my home last most of the day, with no other things done except running a few fans, and shutting windows to keep the coolness inside

Here is a link to a post about how to stay cool without air conditioning:

There are a couple of things you can easily make that will help you to stay cool as well. They are known to me as, "Okie Air Conditioners". Both of them involve fans. 

I have not made the more complicated version, but I have made the easier one. That one involves an insulated ice chest. Styrofoam is cheapest, but unless you can find one made of  biodegradable styrofoam, it is not that environmental.

You also need a small fan, and something like a piece of pvc pipe with an elbow to direct the flow of cool air where you want it, like your face. I just taped a couple of used cardboard toilet paper rolls together at an angle, after trimming them to fit first.

You will also need ice for the inside of the chest to cool the air going out the elbow to your face. I get my ice by putting a plastic bucket with water into my freezer to make a large chunk of ice that doesn't melt too fast. If you live in a very hot place, you will probably want to have at least two plastic buckets so you can have an extra piece of ice ready when the first one melts. I refill my bucket as soon as I take out the chunk of ice and put it back in the freezer. It takes a while to freeze a big chunk of ice.

Ice cubes work also and seem to make cooler air come out the elbow, but they also melt faster.

I also wet a towel in cool water and wring it out pretty thoroughly. Then I put it on a hanger with built in clamps like a skirt or pants hanger or use a pin or clothespin. Then I hang the whole thing in front of a window that is open with a slight breeze coming through it. This does not work as well if a lot of sunlight is hitting the window. The air coming through the wet towel is cooler. 

If the window has a lot of sunlight on it, you will need to re-wet the towel much more often.

If no breeze is available, I put a fan near the window so the air is directed into the room to be cooled.

My cats can seem pretty miserable in hot weather, so I usually direct my air flow out of the okie cooler where the cats can lay in the cool air right where it comes out. They sit and wait for me to put fresh ice in it and turn the fan back on.

I cracked the bottom of one chest by letting the chunk of ice hit it too hard. Since then, I take the lid off of the ice container and set a large dinner plate on top of the container with the ice in it. Then I flip it all over so the ice slides out onto the plate. Sometimes it is necessary to run a little hot tap water on the outside of the ice container to loosen up the ice inside in order to get it out of the freezer container. I use a large plastic bulk ice cream bucket for my freezer container. There are a lot of other things that can also be used, but this is what I had handy.

Next I turn the ice chest on its side and position the plate with the ice on it next to the open top of the chest. I scoot the chunk of ice into the ice chest very gently to avoid breaking the styrofoam. Last, I gently turn the chest upright with the ice chunk in it and take it back to where I use it and put the lid on and turn the fan back on.

I also bathe my cats' ears, faces, and necks with cool water to help them stay comfortable. They objected at first, but now they come to me to get it done.

There are lots of other things you can do to stay comfortable in hot weather without using an air conditioner. Even if you feel you absolutely have to use an air conditioner, you can do these things to reduce how much you use it. This will save both your budget and the Earth. 

It is kind of ironic that we can be making the Earth get even warmer, by using an air conditioner to stay cool. lol. It seems a bit counter productive to me.

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